Diagnostic Yield of Pulmonary CT Angiography in the Evaluation of Pulmonary Embolisms Treated at the Puerto Rico Medical Center from 2008 to 2012

Walter J. Morales-Borrero, José A. Maldonado-Vargas


Objective: The objective of this study was to determine the diagnostic yield of pulmonary CT angiography (PCTA) in the evaluation of pulmonary embolisms treated at the Puerto Rico Medical Center from 2008 to 2012. Methods: A total of 1,004 CT angiograms were reviewed in the evaluation of pulmonary embolisms. Patient records covering from 2008 to 2012 were obtained from the picture archiving and communication system (PACS) of the Puerto Rico Medical Center. Follow-up studies and those of pediatric patients were excluded from the study. The results were recorded as either positive or negative for pulmonary embolism, according to the final report rendered by board-certified radiologists. Results: Of the 1,004 patient records reviewed, 964 were included in the study. Forty-six out of the total studies reviewed were positive, while a total of 918 studies were negative. A mean diagnostic yield of 4.8% (SD = 0.63) was obtained. Conclusion: At the Puerto Rico Medical Center, the mean diagnostic yield in the evaluation of pulmonary embolism using PCTA was 4.8%, which is in concordance with those of several previous studies, all of which had similar low yields. New diagnostic algorithms for efficiently employing PCTA for the evaluation of pulmonary embolisms are discussed herein.


CT Angiography, Pulmonary embolism, diagnostic yield

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